Unearthed Arcana: Wizards & Warlocks -- Hexblades, Raven Queens, and Lore Mastery!
  • Unearthed Arcana: Wizards & Warlocks -- Hexblades, Raven Queens, and Lore Mastery!


    This week's Unearthed Arcana from WotC's Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford hits both the Warlock and the Wizard! The Warlock gets two new otherworldly patron features -- the Hexblade (a sentient magic weapon), and the Raven Queen (who rules the Shadowfell from an icy palace). The Wizard gets a new arcane tradition called Lore Mastery. There's also some expansion to the Warlock's eldritch invocations feature.



    SaveSave
    Comments 363 Comments
    1. Sacrosanct's Avatar
      Sacrosanct -
      Master of Hexes
      Starting at 14th level, you can use your
      Hexblade’s Curse again without resting, but
      when you apply it to a new target, the curse
      immediately ends on the previous target.


      Does this mean you can cast it one more time, or over and over again? And does the 1 minute duration reset upon a new target, or does it continue from the previous target?
    1. Raunalyn's Avatar
      Raunalyn -
      Ah...beat me by a couple of minutes...
    1. lowkey13's Avatar
      lowkey13 -
      Meh.

      Don't care about the Wizard.

      I was really looking forward to the Warlock, but I was disappointed. They needed some new pacts boons, not patrons.

      I have mixed emotions about the invocations; yes, it's great to see some new ones. Some look really good. Trouble is- the gatekeeping on them. I don't mind gatekeeping by level, or even a prerequisite of another invocation, but almost all of these are done by patron (or patron/pact). Which is ... of limited utility.

      If they are going that route, then they might consider making invocations akin to a "spell list" by patron.

      Underwhelmed.
    1. Raunalyn's Avatar
      Raunalyn -
      Anyone else think that the Armor of Hexes ability is a bit overpowered? Basically a 50% chance to be missed by your hexed target? Why not give them disadvantage instead?
    1. Parmandur's Avatar
      Parmandur -
      Quote Originally Posted by lowkey13 View Post
      Meh.

      Don't care about the Wizard.

      I was really looking forward to the Warlock, but I was disappointed. They needed some new pacts boons, not patrons.

      I have mixed emotions about the invocations; yes, it's great to see some new ones. Some look really good. Trouble is- the gatekeeping on them. I don't mind gatekeeping by level, or even a prerequisite of another invocation, but almost all of these are done by patron (or patron/pact). Which is ... of limited utility.

      If they are going that route, then they might consider making invocations akin to a "spell list" by patron.

      Underwhelmed.
      Well, it fills a gap from the PHB, where the invocations were more general in nature; an experiment with more narrative specific options is interesting.

      Having a powerful magic weapon for a patron is a pretty good idea, I like it; Raven Queen is an interesting choice, I wonder if some of the necrotic options for other classes they have been doing indicate that the Raven Queen will play a big part in the Big Book of Crunch..

      Everyone wanted a Generalist Wizard; and this one is pretty amazing, actually: maybe OP, even.

      Sent from my BLU LIFE XL using EN World mobile app
    1. vincegetorix's Avatar
      vincegetorix -
      I love the hexblade, but I feel it might step a little on the boon of blade's toes, even with the addition of special invocations for the Blade.
      The Raven queen feels ''meh'', I dont think we needed yet another necrotic warlock. Does someone knows if the Raven Queen was something before the 4e?
      I absolutely love the school of Lore for the Wizard, it reminds me of the old Scholar of Candlekeep prestige class I played in Neverwinter Nights 2. Still, I think that 1) Alchemical Secret is really a bad name that doesnt make sense with the description of the feature 2) some sorcerer's players will feel cheated by this feature.
    1. MechaTarrasque's Avatar
      MechaTarrasque -
      I was not expecting that. So I guess you can be a tomelock with Hexblade patron and get the best of both worlds. New invocations are nice.

      Is the lore mastery wizard the generalist wizard or the sorcerer wizard (or both)?

      Have to digest this for a bit.....

      Mystic next week?
    1. TwoSix -
      I have some nits to pick, but otherwise all I can say is "BRAVO". This is the creative, impactful material I've been wanting to see. Cha on attacks without the annoying shillelagh/tome pick. The ability to change damage types on the fly. Polymorphing into a raven at-will. Invocations that build on patron and pact type. Love it!
    1. QuietBrowser's Avatar
      QuietBrowser -
      Quote Originally Posted by lowkey13 View Post
      Meh.

      Don't care about the Wizard.

      I was really looking forward to the Warlock, but I was disappointed. They needed some new pacts boons, not patrons.

      I have mixed emotions about the invocations; yes, it's great to see some new ones. Some look really good. Trouble is- the gatekeeping on them. I don't mind gatekeeping by level, or even a prerequisite of another invocation, but almost all of these are done by patron (or patron/pact). Which is ... of limited utility.

      If they are going that route, then they might consider making invocations akin to a "spell list" by patron.

      Underwhelmed.
      Let's get serious here: who honestly thought that there would be new Pact Boons? Like it or not, Patrons are the defining subclass mechanic for Warlocks and there's really not much, if any, cognitive grounds for new Pact Boons to incorporate. We've got a magical weapon, a spellbook, and a familiar. Like I keep asking, what's left? Much as I adored the Deadlands Hexslinger (don't judge me), really, it's a Pact of the Blade Warlock with a Gun as its Pact Weapon.

      As for the gatekeeping on the new Invocations, honestly, I think it looks great; we've plenty of generic invocations in the corebook, but these really go a long way towards helping different warlocks with the same Pact or Patron feel unique. Thumbs up.

      Mixed feelings on the new Patrons. The Hexblade is actually pretty awesome, as it expertly compliments the Blade Pact, but the Raven Queen is a little bit too... I don't know, specific.

      The Loremaster is actually a lot better than I was anticipating; this actually feels like a pretty solid "generalist" tradition for mages, which we kind of gave up after the corebook release.
    1. Parmandur's Avatar
      Parmandur -
      Quote Originally Posted by MechaTarrasque View Post
      I was not expecting that. So I guess you can be a tomelock with Hexblade patron and get the best of both worlds. New invocations are nice.

      Is the lore mastery wizard the generalist wizard or the sorcerer wizard (or both)?

      Have to digest this for a bit.....

      Mystic next week?
      It is both: metamagicish abilities fulfill the generalist archetype. Also, more mechanical multiclassing via subclasses on display...

      We may see Mystic next week: but we don't really know for sure the shape of their plans, in terms of what they have queued up for the Big Book of Crunch: we may see more DM centered rules, we may see Mystic, we may see races...

      Sent from my BLU LIFE XL using EN World mobile app
    1. Thurmas's Avatar
      Thurmas -
      This may not all be entirely balanced, but I think it is the most creative UA they have done yet. This might be my favorite they have released so far, plus it might the most expansive in terms of new options. The Wizard might encroach a bit on the Sorcerer, but I think of all the Wizard schools so far released, this is my favorite.

      The Hexblade also makes me want to play a Pact of Blade Warlock for the first time.
    1. OB1's Avatar
      OB1 -
      Not sure I like using Cha as a hit/dmg modifier, seems to lead down the path of subclasses that tailor everything to a specific ability stat, and to me is the worst kind of power creep. That said, I'm willing to have an open mind if someone can show me how being charming leads to hitting harder in combat.

      Everything else I love. I do hope that WoC has structured these UA releases to hide some surprises for us. Sorcerer could really use something similar to the new Wizard tradition, so perhaps we could see a version of that in the same way there is a Fighter and Rouge Scout.
    1. Hathorym's Avatar
      Hathorym -
      Lore Master with the Elemental Adept feat? Brutal
      1. Choose a elemental damage spell with the dimensions you like
      2. Change it to your favorite element.
      3. Change the saving throw to Intelligence
      4. Spend a 3rd level slot to increase the DC by 2
      5. Cast it.
      6. Profit.

      I think I'm in love.
    1. Ganymede81's Avatar
      Ganymede81 -
      I would absolutely take the Claw of Acamar on my Warlock, if only it didn't have to manifest as a stupid flail.

      Why not simply allow any pact weapon you create to gain the special property of this and similar invocations without locking the warlock into a specific weapon choice?
    1. Xeviat's Avatar
      Xeviat -
      Definitely a fan. I'll look at them more in depth later. I just did a read on my phone. But I'm happy. More invocations makes me wish for more Battlemaster maneuvers.


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    1. TwoSix -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thurmas View Post
      This may not all be entirely balanced, but I think it is the most creative UA they have done yet. This might be my favorite they have released so far, plus it might the most expansive in terms of new options. The Wizard might encroach a bit on the Sorcerer, but I think of all the Wizard schools so far released, this is my favorite.

      The Hexblade also makes me want to play a Pact of Blade Warlock for the first time.
      It's funny, but the Hexblade is a fantastic patron for an Eldritch Blast focused warlock. At 6th level with 18 Cha, they could be doing 1d10+7 twice to a cursed target, 19-20 crit, and ignore everything but total cover thanks to the shadow hound. That's not even factoring in the hex spell or using bonus actions for Chilling/Burning Hex invocations.
    1. vincegetorix's Avatar
      vincegetorix -
      Quote Originally Posted by OB1 View Post
      Not sure I like using Cha as a hit/dmg modifier, seems to lead down the path of subclasses that tailor everything to a specific ability stat, and to me is the worst kind of power creep. That said, I'm willing to have an open mind if someone can show me how being charming leads to hitting harder in combat.
      Let's try this: As an hexblade, you're bound to a sentient weapon with its own will and desires. The blade is capable of hitting per itself, but your own conviction/presence/charm may convince the blade to strike when YOU will it.
    1. Sir Brennen's Avatar
      Sir Brennen -
      Alchemical Casting - hate the name; it's "alchemy" in a very abstract sense, not one most players are going to associate with the word.

      And while I don't hate the actual mechanics of the feature, the properties seem more fitting of a war mage type subclass, not a bookish Lore Master. I mean, fireballs and lightning bolts with a range of a mile? Sounds like fantasy artillery to me. Just send in the Rogue Scouts as forward observers.
    1. Thurmas's Avatar
      Thurmas -
      Quote Originally Posted by TwoSix View Post
      It's funny, but the Hexblade is a fantastic patron for an Eldritch Blast focused warlock. At 6th level with 18 Cha, they could be doing 1d10+7 twice to a cursed target, 19-20 crit, and ignore everything but total cover thanks to the shadow hound. That's not even factoring in the hex spell or using bonus actions for Chilling/Burning Hex invocations.
      That's true. I completely glossed over the fact that none of the class features require you to hit it with a melee attack. An eldritch blast based Hexblade would be insane.
    1. lowkey13's Avatar
      lowkey13 -
      Quote Originally Posted by QuietBrowser View Post
      Let's get serious here: who honestly thought that there would be new Pact Boons? Like it or not, Patrons are the defining subclass mechanic for Warlocks and there's really not much, if any, cognitive grounds for new Pact Boons to incorporate. We've got a magical weapon, a spellbook, and a familiar. Like I keep asking, what's left? Much as I adored the Deadlands Hexslinger (don't judge me), really, it's a Pact of the Blade Warlock with a Gun as its Pact Weapon.

      As for the gatekeeping on the new Invocations, honestly, I think it looks great; we've plenty of generic invocations in the corebook, but these really go a long way towards helping different warlocks with the same Pact or Patron feel unique. Thumbs up.

      Mixed feelings on the new Patrons. The Hexblade is actually pretty awesome, as it expertly compliments the Blade Pact, but the Raven Queen is a little bit too... I don't know, specific.

      The Loremaster is actually a lot better than I was anticipating; this actually feels like a pretty solid "generalist" tradition for mages, which we kind of gave up after the corebook release.
      The Loremaster is fine- as I wrote, I'm not commenting on the Wizard, because, well, I don't really care about the Wizard.

      I do care about the Warlock, and here's the thing-

      Adding one or two new pact boons would have greatly increased the options available to the class. It's a great mix-and-match class; and part of the versatility should be that you get to differentiate both your PATRON and your PACT BOON.

      Now look where the design space has gone-

      A new patron (Hexblade) that is pretty much specifically built for a single pact boon (I'll let you guess ... ). Sure, you can still build a Blade Pact without the Patron, and you can still take Hexblade with something else ... but why?

      And now you've got double-locked invocations (Curse Bringer requires Hexblade and Blade pact) ... and other double-locked invocations that you will almost never see (how many fiend/blade and GOO/blade will we be seeing the future).

      There are some great ideas in here to use, but in terms of overall design, I don't like it.
    Comments Leave Comment